Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Robyn Mudie was delighted to meet Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at his office in Hanoi on Friday 15 October to discuss the depth and breadth of engagement between the two countries under the Australia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership.
As a close friend and partner of Vietnam, Ambassador Mudie reaffirmed Australia’s strong support for Vietnam’s response to COVID-19 and its economic recovery. The Ambassador discussed Australia’s recent announcement that it would increase its vaccine support to Vietnam to 5.2 million doses and its total support for COVID-19 response to AUD60 million. The Ambassador advised the Prime Minister that, so far, 700,000 doses had been delivered to Vietnam from Australia, with more deliveries expected in the coming weeks and months.
Signed in 2018, the Strategic Partnership spans three pillars: economic engagement; strategic, defence and security cooperation; and knowledge and innovation partnerships, and continues to provide momentum to the relationship.
To further enhance economic engagement and to support the mutual goal of becoming top ten trading partners and doubling two-way investment, Vietnam and Australia have made impressive progress preparing the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy. Australia and Vietnam have the advantage of highly complementary economies and a mutually beneficial economic partnership. The EEES will not only reinforce the two countries’ shared commitment to trade liberalisation and economic connectivity, but also assist with economic recovery given the economic challenges and uncertainty posed by COVID-19
Reflecting the deepening of defence and security cooperation, in March this year Australia transported personnel and equipment for Vietnam’s Level 2 Field Hospital in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for a third time using Australian strategic lift aircraft. And, last month, Vietnam hosted Australia’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 Task Group comprising three Royal Australian Navy vessels and approximately 700 Australian Defence Force personnel.
The Australia-Vietnam Innovation Partnership (Aus4Innovation) continues to build linkages between Australian and Vietnamese universities, research agencies, high-tech businesses, and policymakers to help strengthen Vietnam’s innovation ecosystem. Through this program, Australian and Vietnamese experts are working together to deliver sustainable socio-economic development and support COVID-19 recovery efforts.
During the meeting the two sides also exchanged views on regional and security issues and both countries’ shared interest in an open, inclusive, resilient Indo-Pacific region based on rules, norms and international law.